Reviewed on Mon 27 Nov, 2017
The CD ends with a hymn ‘Ave Maris Stella’ for choir and soloists; its beauty is in its relative simplicity.
Franz Hauk describes, in the liner notes, how he reconstructed this ‘Stabat Mater’ from two partial versions as no complete version remained. Five of the eight tracks employ individual solo singers while tracks 1 and 5 combine soloists and choir. Track 8 is a real choral showpiece, especially good with increased amplification. The instrumental music forms a vital part; nearly all tracks have quite lengthy introductions. In the ‘Sancta mater’ (track 6) strings and solo violin are important, but Mayr mainly makes fantastic use of wind instruments. Indeed, as Hauk points out, in the alternative version of the ‘Eja mater’ Mayr does not use upper strings but “contrasts woodwinds and horns with the vocal soloists”. This is beautiful and highly effective, making one sorry that it is actually the shortest track. The CD ends with a hymn ‘Ave Maris Stella’ for choir and soloists; its beauty is in its relative simplicity. Both the singing and playing are of a high standard, and one is grateful to Franz Hauk for rebuilding the ‘Stabat Mater’ and enabling this pleasurable performance.